Backorders

Backorders are an existing feature that allows you to sell products that are out of stock in the warehouse when you create an order. You can display the available products for backorders as In Stock, or using a customized message like Available in ‘X’ days. This feature can increase your sales revenue and provide flexibility with selling products that are not available, but expected to have stock replenishment within a short timeframe.

Configuration

Backorders can be configured at different levels:

  • Store level—You can enable or disable the backorder feature for each store. If enabled, your OMS allows all items to be available for backorder. If disabled, when your OMS receives an order for a SKU that is out of stock, the line is canceled.
  • Order item level—Order Items that do not allow for a backorder are canceled if they are out of stock.

If backorder is enabled, your OMS splits a single order into several shipments. The sourcing logic allows you to configure the maximum number of allowed splits, or hold back an order if some of the lines are out of stock.

For this to work, the logistics provider needs to be able to support multiple shipment requests for the same order.

Enabling backorders

Your System Integrator (SI) can enable the backorder feature by sales channel. All items in the catalog accept backorders by default, unless defined differently. If backorders are not allowed, it still is possible to use them by defining allowed order lines with the [magento.sales.order_management.create](/en/specifications/#magento.sales.order_management) message.

allowBackorder is provided within the custom_attributes node for each order line. If the SKU does not have any available stock the order line will be flagged as a backorder and regularly checked for stock updates:

 "custom_attributes": [
                    {
                        "name": "allowBackorders",
                        "value": "true"
                    }
                ]
....

Backorder process

Your OMS checks lines with stock status in backorder and holds them until the stock becomes available. Depending on the payment method, orders with lines on backorder and regular lines have multiple settlements (one for each shipment).

If the backorder configuration is not enabled, and in your OMS a SKU is out of stock, the line is canceled.

Backorder exceptions

You can set a threshold of days that are used to flag the backorder lines as exceptions in the exception queue. Once the specified day limit is reached the exception is reported with a High severity status.

Use this configuration to manage the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) compliance, ensuring there is a process for obtaining customer consent to comply with regulations.

Aged backorders

A configuration will determine after how many days from the order creation a backorder is defined as an aged backorder.

For aged backorders, the system uses two different configurable approaches to validate if stock has arrived and for resubmitting the order for allocation. The desired behavior can be configured as follows:

  • Resubmit Aged Orders will determine after how many days the order should validate stock arrival, so that the orders will be re-submitted much less frequently and avoid the system suffering from an unnecessary data load. By default, the value is configured to 30 days.
  • Detect New Stock Added triggers the stock import process to identify the SKUs that changed the quantity value from zero to a positive value, instead of proactively re-submit all of the backorders in the queue to validate stock arrival. All orders containing such SKUs are automatically flagged, so that they will be added to the next sourcing wave.

Backorder lines can be either:

  • Not aged
  • Aged
Backorder lines not aged

A backorder line that is not aged is an order with two lines, one sourced and the other a backorder, with the following specification:

  • Aged Backorders is 21 days

For example, an order created on January 1st, when the current date is January 2nd, is sent to be sourced for each configured wave.

Backorder lines aged

A backorder line that is aged is an order with two lines, one sourced and the other a backorder, with the following specification:

  • Aged Backorders is 21 days

For example, an order created on January 1st, when the current date is January 25th, is not sent to be sourced on that date.

If the configuration for the backorder exceptions is defined as Resubmit Aged Orders: 30 days the order will be sent to be sourced 30 days after the order was flagged as aged. This only happens once, during the first wave of the day.

If the backorder exception is defined as Detect New Stock Added: enabled the stock import process will automatically flag all backorders containing SKUs which stock values where updated from a zero to a positive value, and add them to the next sourcing wave scheduled.

Example of a exception rule configuration

Aged backorders configuration

OMS backorder flow (no stock available)

No stock available

Backorders are displayed in the allocation queue even if the client is using the default mode (Direct).

OMS backorder flow (stock available after some time)

Stock available after sometime

Payments process

Re-auth strategy

An order with backorder lines automatically applies a re-auth strategy to ensure that you are able to capture the money once there is available stock. This process typically takes place every ten days and can be set by your SI.

Backorders in admin

For more information on how backorders are displayed in the Admin, see the Backorders page.

In order to increase visibility for this feature you will see a label for backorders in the Admin.

Label in Admin

Additionally, you can check in the Exceptions & Sourcing Queue view. If one order has the configurable threshold set to automatically cancel backorders not shipped after N days, which have not received stock:

Backorders Excetptiona Allocation Queue